Switch to English Language Passer en langue française Omschakelen naar Nederlandse Taal Wechseln Sie zu deutschen Sprache Passa alla lingua italiana
Members: 71,054   Posts: 1,561,257   Online: 1044
      
Page 1 of 3 123 LastLast
Results 1 to 10 of 25
  1. #1
    Marc Leest's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2003
    Location
    Hasselt, Belgium
    Shooter
    Multi Format
    Posts
    1,267
    Images
    12

    ZS question about reducing development

    I've read St. Ansels book The Negative. I am not sure if I understand everything, hence my question:
    If the contrast range exceeds 5 stops, then compress the tones by the reducing the development and add some exposure to add for the consequent loss in the shadows.
    However, if I study the characteristic curve of a modern film, the film is able to record easily more than 7 to 8 stops contrast range, so why considering a reduced development ?

    Thanks for any insights.
    We cannot change how the cards are dealt, just how to play the hand...
    Randy Pausch

  2. #2
    Lee L's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2004
    Shooter
    Multi Format
    Posts
    3,244
    So that your negative "fits" the paper on which you plan to print. You take into account your paper developer, the paper curve, and other printing variables when you choose which film density range fits the paper.

    Lee

  3. #3
    df cardwell's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2005
    Location
    Dearborn,Michigan & Cape Breton Island
    Shooter
    Multi Format
    Posts
    3,342
    Images
    8
    Quote Originally Posted by Marc Leest
    I've read St. Ansels book The Negative. I am not sure if I understand everything, hence my question:
    If the contrast range exceeds 5 stops, then compress the tones by the reducing the development and add some exposure to add for the consequent loss in the shadows.
    However, if I study the characteristic curve of a modern film, the film is able to record easily more than 7 to 8 stops contrast range, so why considering a reduced development ?

    Thanks for any insights.
    THAT is the question of the day. Besides fitting the SCALE ( or entire brightness range of the image: from black to white ) there is the primary requirement of sufficient fidelity between significant visual elements, and that is usually called LOCAL CONTRAST.

    Most importantly, and this is what Ansel taught everyday, the function of the ZS was to make a picture that compelled the Viewer to experience what Ansel experienced when he was motivated to make the picture.

    The ZS was never intended as a mere technical exercise, but as the transformational creative tool. I cite as a source his life, his work, innumerable lectures, conversations and books. If you have any doubts, re-read the Introduction to The Negative.

    The primary function of the negative was therefore to establish tonal relationship of the picture elements, departing from the objective realities of the subject in order to produce an Image faithful to his visualisation.

    He considered each step in the process, as well as he could, before pushing the button.

    Today, we have a remarkable assortment of materials; at the same time we have lost much of Adam's perspective.

    To make an image of a scene where the subject needs to retain its shadow detail and midtone contrast, while lowering the value of the bright areas to become glowy whites instead of running off the top on the scale, we conventionally reduce the development of the negative. This lowers the midtone contrast, and even with extra exposure the distinct shadows must be printed on a higher grade paper, resulting in the need to burn and dodge the image.

    As you suggest, using a long scale film such as FP4 or TMY, whose straight line creates a density in direct proportion to the brightness of the subject, is a possibility. Many workers choose today, instead of giving N- development, to simply let the highlights fall on the film and then compress them in the printing process by using a soft paper developer, two bath developer, a water bath, or variable paper grades, factorial paper development, or a combination of techniques.

    The results are simple, predictable, and generally easier. And because one can test and KNOW what effects are possible, it is possible to Visualize these controls prior to exposure.

    It is therefore completely viable to shoot for years and use Normal development, and follow Ansel's outline of the Zone System.

    A contextual note: in Ansel's day it was typical to develop film to a gamma of .8 as normal. His notions of a good negative were radical, although he was simply incorporating what he learned about a good negative from Weston, Strand, and Stieglitz. Today, we think a negative that rises .15 density units for each unit of exposure is common. In the '30s and '40s, a 1 to 1 relationship was considered ideal ( a gamma of 1 ! ).

    I somehow think Ansel would have looked at the curve TMY produces with Xtol and licked his chops:

    http://www.fotoimport.no/images/pk/xtol-tm400.gif

    In short, for many of us, most of the time, we need no more than a couple filters and normal development, with a suitable film and developer combination, to fulfil Ansel's criteria for the Zone System.



    .
    "One of the painful things about our time is that those who feel certainty are stupid,
    and those with any imagination and understanding are filled with doubt and indecision"

    -Bertrand Russell

  4. #4
    KenM's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2003
    Location
    Calgary, Alberta
    Shooter
    4x5 Format
    Posts
    800
    Lee is right, but let me clarify what I think he means by 'other printing variables': a metered scene may exceed the range of your paper, but you can always burn in the hightlights, depending on how much grain you want to deal with - the more highlight burning, generally speaking you increase the grain.

    If you reduce development, you'll reduce both the overall and local contrast, which implies that you may have to print at a higher grade to maintain the appearance of the original scene's contrast. So you'll probably end up burning in the hightlights anyways. However, by reducing development you'll make it easier to get the detail onto the paper.

    You can also burn in highlights at a softer grade, letting you get the detail down onto the paper. There are lots of things you can do in the printing stage to get what you originally 'saw' down onto paper.

    In other words, think about the final result when you determine film, exposure, development, and yes, the paper.

    Hope that makes sense (it's still early )
    Cheers!

    -klm.

  5. #5
    Lee L's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2004
    Shooter
    Multi Format
    Posts
    3,244
    One other point, implied in what's been posted so far, is that Adams didn't see a "straight", unmanipulated print from the negative as the final product. The negative is only a "score" and the final print is a "performance", an interpretation of what you have in the negative, with nuances (or perhaps heroic efforts) at the printing stage that make it work. The point of working to make the negative appropriate to the expected printing method is to make it easier at the printing phase to produce a final print that matches your intentions when you pressed the shutter release.

    Lee

  6. #6
    Marc Leest's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2003
    Location
    Hasselt, Belgium
    Shooter
    Multi Format
    Posts
    1,267
    Images
    12
    This confirms my actual practice: a normal developed (N) negative reveals highlight detail available in the negative, but i do not manage to get it right in the printing stage: local burning-in and even pre-flashing the paper does not give the desired result.
    We cannot change how the cards are dealt, just how to play the hand...
    Randy Pausch

  7. #7

    Join Date
    Sep 2002
    Location
    Tijeras, NM
    Shooter
    Medium Format
    Posts
    1,246
    Come to the church of Rodinal. You can check in but you'll never check out.
    art is about managing compromise

  8. #8

    Join Date
    Dec 2002
    Shooter
    Large Format
    Posts
    6,242
    Quote Originally Posted by Marc Leest
    This confirms my actual practice: a normal developed (N) negative reveals highlight detail available in the negative, but i do not manage to get it right in the printing stage: local burning-in and even pre-flashing the paper does not give the desired result.
    What I am about to say is based in my personal experience backed in a lot of years as a Zone System practitioner and having used all types of light sources in my darkroom making prints and not simply parroting what someone else said in the past.

    Both burning and preflashing have the effect of compressing highlight tonal scale. While you may preserve the local contrast in the mid tones...that is about all that you preserve. Reduced development will compress highlight tonal scale too but it will proportionally compress the midtone scale more yet.

    Nothing that Adams said indicated a method of dealing with this.

    The only method that will allow the negative density range to be represented on paper is to first and foremost determine the exposure scale of your paper. From that you can develop your camera negative to match the scale of the materials and not some arbitrary value that Adams published.

    Even though Adams was a man who capitalized on his work and that of others, he failed to adequately address the entire reality in the way that is possible to address it today.

    The one way of retaining midtone and highlight tonal value separation (local contrast), when the negative density range exceeds the paper's exposure scale, is to get rid of the cold light head, print on a condenser enlarger, and mask the negative.

  9. #9
    Marc Leest's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2003
    Location
    Hasselt, Belgium
    Shooter
    Multi Format
    Posts
    1,267
    Images
    12
    Quote Originally Posted by avandesande
    Come to the church of Rodinal. You can check in but you'll never check out.
    I am not sure what you mean
    But the negative i was speaking about was a Tri-X 320 @ 320 in id11 1:1
    Rodinal is a favorite developer (usually APX100 or Neopan 400 in R 1:50)


    M.
    We cannot change how the cards are dealt, just how to play the hand...
    Randy Pausch

  10. #10
    noseoil's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2003
    Location
    Tucson
    Shooter
    Multi Format
    Posts
    2,898
    Images
    17
    Marc, all of the above, and a close look at Donald's writing. If you assume a negative to have an increase in contrast of 1 zone (for example from zone 7 to 8) with added development, you may be correct, but this is not very useful in the print. The problem is that a negative can "see" more contrast than the paper. Paper is very "flat" in what it sees, about 5 stops as we think of light in a scene. So, now we are trying to put 8 stops of light on a 5 stop paper, oops! It won't fit will it?

    This is an over-simplification, but it will serve as an example. Lets say you have a "normal" scene which worked well, printed well and looks just right to you. You are going to do a similar scene, but the meter tells you that it is about a stop more in contrast than the last one which worked. Ok, no problem, just give one stop less development, right? WRONG! If the original scene was 8 stops and the paper sees 5 stops, you have a relationship of 8:5 or 8/5 or actually something like 1.6 times as much light as you thought, time to burn down those highlights! Your development would be n-1.6, not n-1. This is where the zone system starts to become more difficult. Ansel understood this, but his number system didn't relate these numbers very well.

    There is another system used which accounts for this difference. It uses sbr (scene brightness numbers or ranges) to deal with the relationship. Aside from the mumbo-jombo of numerical confusion, it directly relates the paper's scale to the film's development scale. There is no n- and n+ used, until the actual relationship of values is taken into consideration. I use it as zone 3 and zone 7 being full texture in a print with normal development. If I want zone 8, I add a stop of development to the paper's scale, not the film's scale. This is what the great debate is which rages among and between the differing schools of photography and light.

    Since the print is what we want, why develop the film as if there were no paper in the mix? We develop film to print it, not to view negatives, so we have to look at film development as a function of the paper's scale. This is why development numbers for one paper, type of process or printing type don't always work for another.

    Marc, Try metering like this. Take the range of light and then add 5 to it (meter reads from ev 10 to ev 14, or 4) so you have a value of "9" as your development time. Develop the film for this number to get zone 3 and zone 7. When you have a scene with a range of "10" you now need to have a new development time to match zone 3 and 7. Do the same for any value the film "sees" and you will have matched the film to he paper, not to itself. Hope this makes sense. It will take a bit of trial and error without a densitometer, but this is closer to a zone system which works each and every time. tim

Page 1 of 3 123 LastLast


 

APUG PARTNERS EQUALLY FUNDING OUR COMMUNITY:



Contact Us  |  Support Us!  |  Advertise  |  Site Terms  |  Archive  —   Search  |  Mobile Device Access  |  RSS  |  Facebook  |  Linkedin